House Rules

Welcome to Ruxbin.

Thank you for joining us for dinner. We are excited to cook for you and have you as our guest. Ruxbin is our home. It houses our dreams and values. And while we invite you to be our guest, there are house rules.

House Rules:

Our food is labor intensive, our kitchen is tiny, your patience is appreciated.

No large groups: Parties up to 6 Sunday-Thursday, 4 Friday & Saturdays.

As this is a small restaurant, we may ask for your table after you’ve finished. 

We seat complete parties only.

Waitlist Courtesy: Let’s talk Commitment.  If you’re on the waitlist, you are committing to dine with us and we are committing to seat you. If your plans change, give us a courtesy call to allow other guests the opportunity to dine with us.

If you are in the Waiting area, please be patient while you wait to be waited on.

No grouchy pants allowed. You are responsible for agreeing to your wait time.  If you think the wait will ruin your evening, please do not leave your name on our wait list.

Please take phone calls outside. No laptops. No iPads.

It’s no secret that we are a tiny place. We max out at 32 seats, 10 tables for two and 3 booths. We have a kitchen probably smaller than the one you have at home, and no walk-in refrigeration which limits our storage space.  The other day we had a guest demand that we provide them with an extra chair- we don’t have extra chairs lying around, there is no storage for such thing. What you see is all that we have, and if your party is that large, then we simply are not able to accommodate you. We have limitations. Therefore, a set of House Rules are in order, to ensure an enjoyable experience for both our guests as well as the members of our Ruxbin Family.

Now what do I mean by “enjoyable experience”? Well, for one, by far the most popular question we receive here at Ruxbin is “how long is the wait”?  And this is where the experience begins… You see, the wait depends on you, the customer.  Every evening we typically fill the house by 6:30.  From there on we go on a wait and start allowing walk-ins to place their names on the waitlist.  And every evening there are several people that decide to not show up for their tables without cancellation notice.  This, my friends, screws both of us over, but mainly it screws you, the Diner.  It’s your fellow diners that do this to you.  Their place on the waitlist commits them a table for the night, meaning there is one less table to give out to you.  So either the previous customer that walked in equates to you having a longer wait or possibly them taking the last table for the night.

Take it from a fellow diner that came in the other night, visiting from LA:  “I love how you are walk in only, anyone can come in. Instead of having to wait 5 months to eat here, I only have to wait an hour and a half!”.  Here someone appreciates why we decided to stay walk in only in the first place – to be accessible. Given that we only have 32 seats, if we actually took reservations we would fill up so quickly that you’d have to plan your reservations far in advance.

So here’s a typical scenario: It’s Thursday night, the tables are full and the waitlist begins.  There are already several tables ahead of you waiting including Dan’s.  Now, you walk in at 6:45pm and ask for a table for 4, I typically have one of two answers:  A) There is a wait and the next table is estimated to be available around XX:XXpm  or   B) The wait list is full for the night and I am not able to take any more tables.  Now,  let’s say customer Dan haphazardly put his name on the waitlist thinking “well, I’m not going to wait that long, but just in case I will put my name down” (thinking no harm, no damage) and ends up eating elsewhere without giving us a call.  Well, if our buddy Dan gave me a simple courtesy call to cancel, that table could’ve been yours. But alas, you’ve already walked out the door 2 hours ago looking for another dinner option because you and I were both under the impression that Dan would be coming back for his table.

The above has been one of the toughest jobs I’ve had to do- turning away eager diners at the door, i.e. “But I just flew in from San Francisco”, “But I just took public transportation for 2 hours to get here”, “But I hired a babysitter for the night to eat here” , “But its my birthday”.  Trust me, all the heart wrenching pleas I hear at the door tug at my heart too, to the point that when I’m hosting, the kitchen braces themselves for critical mass and by night’s end are moments away from the breaking point, all because Vicki lets the crowds in. I can’t help but want to accommodate as many guests as I can.  But when we have a tiny restaurant that is able to only seat so many guests per night, and many are being turned away, all I can do is ask for a simple few rules to be followed so that people that want to eat here, can and enjoy themselves while doing so.

I’ve been learning a lot in the 1 year 4 months 11 days since we’ve opened.  I’ve experienced the spectrum from some really great guests to some that just tend to be plain, mean. But one thing I can certainly recognize, is that while we are in the hospitality industry with the intention to serve others, there is a fine line between being hospitable vs being a doormat.  Ruxbin is our home. We spend more time here than with our families.  It houses our dreams and values and we look forward to cooking for others. And while we invite you to be our guest, there are house rules.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Written by Vicki

5 responses to “House Rules

  1. Sohee Lacey

    Great, great house rules! People ask why Ruxbin only takes walk-ins and you’ve offered the best explanation: walk-ins only allows you to only wait an hour or so rather than 5 months!

  2. Marsha

    I think your house rules are perfect. I’m so grateful we got to eat at Ruxbin in June when it was our 25th wedding anniversary. It was as spontaneous a decision to eat there as it was (practically) for my husband and I to take the leap into marriage. Both, the success of our marriage AND our meal at Ruxbin exceeded our expectations. I hope your successes continue to exceed your expectations, as well. We think you guys rock.

  3. Anthony L.

    I love you guys and I am fine with the wait/house rules… just an FYI on an article I saw on Slate.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2011/10/restaurant_wait_times_why_they_re_unreasonable_.html

  4. Jack

    The walk-ins only policy is the only reason we have been able to get return visits.

    Ruxbin is a treasure. On most nights, I can’t think of another restaurant I’d rather visit and that is what we love most; sometimes we just spontaneously get the feeling to head down and we do.

    Everything we’ve eaten here has been incredible. From the soba (hot and cold) to the Amish chicken (yeah baby), to the garlic fries and the calamari (oh dear), just writing about this makes my mouth water.

    We drive in from about 20 miles away and can’t get enough. See you on Friday, guys. Can’t wait.

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